The Toronto Raptors have provided an update regarding center Jonas Valanciunas, confirming he is now wearing a splint only for basketball activities.
The team also confirmed that he will use the splint for approximately four weeks, during which he will be regularly evaluated. That makes a return around the all-star break a feasible scenario, with the Raptors beginning a six-game home stand on Feb. 11 against the Brooklyn Nets and hosting the Washington Wizards on Feb. 13 as well.
DeMar DeRozan and the San Antonio Spurs will be at the Scotiabank Arena on Feb. 22 to open the unofficial second half of the season, and while it’s hard to imagine Valanciunas missing a game of that magnitude, everything has to go according to plan first.
Valanciunas suffered a dislocation of his left thumb in the second quarter of the Raptors’ impressive Dec. 12 victory over the Warriors in Golden State, when Draymond Green made a regular basketball play trying to slap the ball out of the Lithuanian’s hands in the post.
Greg Monroe and Chris Boucher will continue to eat minutes during this time, while there has been much more time for Siakam at the center spot as well. After waiving Lorenzo Brown, it’s possible the Raptors could look to shore up this position by way of another two-way if they convert Boucher to an NBA contract, or even go the 10-day route. Anyone on the buyout market will possibly have greater tax implications and so that’s something president Masai Ujiri will have to seriously weigh the merit of.
The Lithuanian is averaging 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds in just 18.8 minutes per game and has started 10 of the 30 games he’s played.